Germany has called for new European Union sanctions to be imposed on Russia over accusations by Moscow of poisoning Russian dissident Alexei Navalny with an internationally banned nerve gas, while Russia urged those who incite a “campaign to demonize it” to stop doing so.
Navalny woke up in recent weeks from a coma in which he entered after feeling very tired while on a domestic flight in Siberia, then he was flown to Berlin for treatment, where doctors confirmed that he had been poisoned by the Russian nerve gas “Novichok”.
Germany, France and other Western countries called on the Kremlin to provide an explanation for what happened to Navalny, but Moscow denied involvement in any poisoning, and said that there was no concrete evidence of that.
In an interview today with the “T-Online” news site, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, “I am convinced that there will be no other way to avoid the sanctions.”
“Sanctions must always be specific and appropriate, but such a blatant violation of the International Treaty on Preventing the Proliferation of Chemical Weapons cannot be left without an expense, and in this regard we are united in Europe,” he added.
Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-nation European Union, and EU leaders will discuss their response and possible sanctions against Russia during a summit to be held on the 15th and 16th of this month.
In the context, the Russian Foreign Ministry said today that its embassy in Germany had received a refusal from the German Foreign Ministry in response to a request to communicate with Navalny.
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement urging those staging a “campaign to demonize Russia” to stop doing so.
The Kremlin had rejected Navalny’s accusations, in which he held President Vladimir Putin responsible for his poisoning. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in statements reported by the official news agency, “TASS” that such accusations against the Russian president are totally baseless and unacceptable.
The spokesman accused Navalny of working with the CIA, and said, “This is not the first time that they have given him instructions.”